Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies

I’ve been on the quest to find the perfect end-all be-all chocolate chip cookie recipe.

And this recipe is as close as I’ve come.

The process of making the dough follows standard cookie-dough making protocol. Beat softened butter and cream it with both brown and granulated sugars. There is a higher ration of brown sugar to granulated, which helps cookies in general stay softer and gives them a richer flavor profile since brown sugar has more depth of flavor than granulated sugar does. Ironically, cookies made with more brown than granulated sugar become softer over time as they absorb atmospheric moisture, rather than drying out.

Beat in an egg, vanilla, and flour. I used two types of flour, both bread and all-purpose flour. The original recipe just calls for all-purpose but because bread flour adds extra chewiness and since my dream cookie is one with a high degree of chewiness, I utilized a combination of bread flour and all-purpose. If you don’t have bread flour, soley using all-purpose is fine. Your cookies may not be quite as chewy nor as thick, since bread flour also lends increased structure to baked goods, but they’ll still be plenty good.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Edited to Add May 2013: I have stopped using bread flour in these cookies and use only all-purpose flour. I find the cookies to be softer, more tender, and moister when only using all-purpose flour.

Where this recipe veers way off the path compared to any other cookie recipe I’ve ever tried is that it uses corn starch, and just two mere teaspoons, but enough to work its softening magic. Cornstarch is not only a softening agent, but it’s also a thickening agent. Just as it thickens gravy or soup, it helps to create thick and puffy cookies. There’s a wide variety of knockoff recipes for the Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies floating around that call for cornstarch, but I’ve never tried them and after making these, I don’t feel compelled to try.

There are also plenty of recipes for ‘pudding cookies’ that incorporate a box of pudding mix into cookie dough, promising super soft cookies as a result. One of the main ingredients in pudding mix is ‘modified food starch’, more than likely cornstarch. I like using pudding mix in banana bread because it creates the softest and most tender, moist, and luscious banana bread ever. Cake flour, a relative of corn starch in that it’s a high starch flour, creates incredibly incredibly soft and tender cakes and pastries. It seems like cornstarch is a magic bullet.

These cookies are so soft, similar to Keebler Soft-Batch Cookies, minus the store-bought taste. And they bake up with the perfect height; not too thick or overly domed and not too thin like flat pancakes.

I was going to make the cookies exclusively using semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I enjoy having a variety of textures and flavors in my cookies, especially when those textures and flavors are of the chocolate variety. I opted to use both semi-sweet chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate chunks, courtesy of a Trader Joe’s 72% Pound Plus bar.

I realized when I made the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies that incorporating over an ounce of chocolate per cookie not only works in theory and that the dough can hold it all, but that the results taste fabulous. So I went ahead and stuffed these cookies to the max with both chocolate chips and chocolate chunks. As the cookies bake, the chips retain their shape more than the chunks, which turn into oozing luxurious puddles.

I used about 2.25 ounces dough per cookie. I weighed each mound of dough, but if you don’t have a scale or don’t want to be bothered, that translates to two heaping tablespoons of dough, and with the chocolate pieces dangling off, possibly 3 tablespoons, still smaller than the New York Times cookies. I learned when I made those cookies that a larger mass of dough allows the cookie center to remain soft and tender since it never gets the chance to dry out or overbake while the edges crisp up.

I chilled the dough before baking it and always advocate doing so because as dough chills, the flavors marry and cold dough spreads less during baking, resulting in puffier and thicker cookies.

I recommend baking 8 to 9 minutes, and not more than ten minutes, period. I found given the size of my dough mounds, my oven, and my taste preferences, nine minutes is the magic number for me. Even though the centers will seem underdone at eight or nine minutes, as the cookies cool out of the oven, they firm up. If you wait to pull the cookies until they look done, as they cool they will set up far too firm and crumbly and won’t stay soft and chewy. Don’t overbake.

If you’re looking for an easy, straightforward, chocolate chip cookie recipe that yields fantastic results, I encourage you to give this one a try. The cookies are as close to my definition of The Perfect Cookie as I’ve come and here are the highlights why I love the recipe:

No specialty ingredients are used – if you don’t keep bread flour on hand, just use all-purpose

No need for hard to find or high-end expensive chocolate – if you don’t keep chocolate chunks on hand, just use chocolate chips, and feel free to add nuts, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, diced candy bar pieces or whatever you enjoy

No two-day waiting period between making the dough and baking the cookies – and dough chilling is optional

Unbaked cookie dough may be refrigerated for up to 5 days prior to baking it or frozen for up to 3 months

No egg plus yolk situation to contend with so nothing is wasted

The overall batch size is manageable, about two dozen

Each cookie is decent-sized, but not ginormous

The cookies get softer, not harder or drier, the next day and continue to stay soft for up to a week

The holy grail of cookie qualities are present – thick, puffy, soft, and chewy

And let’s not forget, there are two kinds of chocolate in every bite.

The more the merrier.

Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies

These are my favorite chocolate chip cookies. They’re soft, tender, moist, with pillowy centers and chewy edges. There’s a secret ingredient, which keeps them super soft and tender: cornstarch. I use two types of chocolate in them; chocolate chips and chocolate chunks, for extra depth and flavor. Feel free to make this dough in advance, refrigerate it, and bake it off up to 5 days later for fresh hot cookies exactly when you want them.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed (I use light)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour* (all-purpose flour may be substituted and used exclusively in place of bread flour)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
6 ounces (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 ounces bittersweet or dark baking chocolate, chopped into bite-sized chunks (I use Trader Joe’s 72% Pound Plus bar)

*edited to add May 2013 – I prefer these cookies using exclusively all-purpose flour and have stopped baking them with a combination of all-purpose and bread flour. I am leaving the recipe up as I wrote it back in 2012, but note that I prefer all-purpose because the cookies are softer, more tender, and more moist.

Directions:

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flours, corn starch, baking soda, salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and chunks, and either fold in by hand or beat for a few seconds on low speed.
  6. Using a 2-ounce cookie scoop, form heaping mounds weighing 2 1/4-ounces each (weighed on a scale, which is approximately a scant 1/4-cup measure. Dough mounds will look large for their weight because there’s lots of chocolate pieces adding bulk). Place mounds on a large plate or tray, cover with plasticwrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 5 days.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on the baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart; I bake 8 cookies per sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges, even if slightly undercooked in the center, noting the tops will not be browned and will be pale. Do not cook longer than ten minutes as cookies will darken and firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked for 8 minutes, rotated once midway through baking, and have chewy edges with soft pillowy centers).
  8. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Recipe adapted from Anna Olson of the Food Network Canada

Only Eats

Related Recipes:

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Jacques Torres) – I learned many valuable lessons when making these cookies, from loving bread flour in cookies to detesting cake flour in them; to baking cookies bigger to stuffing in extra chocolate. The cookies are very good, and I loved them on the first day, and I wrote extensively about my thoughts overall on them

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – Based on principles from the Cooks Illustrated Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip, but I also added peanut butter and oatmeal, creating a soft and moist cookie, with plenty of chewy texture. Because the cookies call for melted butter, no mixer is required and the higher ratio of brown to granulated sugar keeps them just as soft on day 4 as on day 1

Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies– These are likely my favorite cookies I have on my blog and are essentially the white chocolate chip version of the cookies above, and I love either version depending on my mood whether I want white or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Of all the cookie recipes on my site, people write to me the most frequently about these telling me they made them and really enjoyed them

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Skillet Cookie – This cookie combines three of my favorite cookies into one – chocolate chip, peanut butter, and oatmeal. The edges bake up crispy and chewy, and sweetened condensed milk is baked into the cookie, keeping the interior a literal hot, sweet, and gooey mess

Molasses Triple Chocolate Cookies – I used chocolate three ways in these soft, chewy, moist and tender molasses cookies. All that chocolate pairs perfectly with robustly-flavored molasses and the intensity of spices used, making these a new holiday favorite

Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies – These cookies are much more than the sum of their simple parts and ingredients. I adore them and want try using the dough as a base for chocolate chip cookies. I’ve played around with it and used it as the base for another recipe coming up with great success, but not with chocolate chips. The beauty of these soft, extra chewy, and easy cookies is that the batch size is only 11, because I don’t need huge batch sizes laying around

Edited to Add – May 2013 Three Recipes that all use this cookie dough base (with all-purpose flour, no bread flour)

Soft and Chewy Snickers Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

Twix Bar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you ever tried the using cornstarch in cookies or are you tempted to try it?

What’s your favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies? Or any cookie that is an absolute favorite?

If you have a favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies, I’d love to hear why you love it so much and links are welcome. Or tell me about your cookie trials, tribulations, what’s worked and what hasn’t.

I still like the Cooks Illustrated Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, and these cookies are the closest version I’ve blogged about.

However, the cornstarch cookies are softer, thicker, puffier, chewier, and overall they’re a very easy recipe to make. Some recipes you really have to think about and get very precise about, but with these, there’s nothing tricky about them and the results are fabulous.

Thanks for the Tiny Food Party Cookbook Giveaway entries for three winners

436 comments on “Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies”

  1. These look mighty tasty, and the consistency is what I am always after in my perfect cookie! YUM!

  2. Pingback: Chocolate Recipes

  3. They look incredible Averie! I adore this cookie recipe, as you know. So happy you got the chance to make them and are now convinced! I use baking soda when I make the recipe myself as well. Never tried using bread flour though, although I did plan to get it over the weekend and I didn’t! The combination of chips and chunks- perfection! They remind me of your oozing chocolate molasses cookies! There are so many wonderful qualities about this recipe – it’s straightforward, it’s quick, it’s easy. Each time I bake them, the centers do appear undone but they firm up as they rest coming out of the oven. And you are right – they get softer on day 2! i have some day 2 cornstarch cookies right here in the kitchen – soft as ever! Yours look so doughy, which I love. :) Great job with these!!!

  4. These look and sound absolutely amazing! These sound like something my husband would just dream about! I’ll try this out sometime this week! Thanks Averie!

  5. I love the idea of two different kinds of chocolate! These look phenomenal.

    I adore your posts. I always learn something new. Thank you for that!

  6. Two kinds of chocolate in a soft, puffy cookie…sounds like my kind of cookie for sure! I really do need to jump on this corn starch band wagon! Now I know why I enjoy those pudding cookies so much though…the good starch quality that keeps them so soft and chewy!!!

    • When I put two and two together with pudding cookies and cornstarch, I realized that ah-hah! THAT’S why they’re so soft. And now no need for pudding mix – I know you love your pudding cookies and I KNOW if you make these you’ll be in heaven!

  7. This post is basically cookie heaven! Love it! Plus I always feel like I”m on the lookout for the perfect choc chip cookie…definitely need to try these!

  8. Get in my belly. I want to live next door to you so I can smell the amazingness all day long, every day. And just “happen” to stop by when you’ve got these cookies (or the molasses choco chip, or the super-vanilla, or….) coming out of the oven. DANG.

  9. Ok Averie, between these and the molasses ones you posted a little bit ago, it’s becoming realllllly hard to not just want to say screw it to the paleo thing and bake them all up! I’m thinking both recipes need to be tried for the holidays though at some point, they look perfect! :)

  10. I haven’t made cookies with cornstarch but after reading about what it does for them, I’m very tempted to try it. I dug out an old toaster oven to get by with for a while, so I think I could pull off half a batch of these. I love the chips and chunks of chocolate in there too. My usual standby has just been Nestlé Tollhouse, so I think I just found a replacement for it in this recipe!

    • You will never go back to that recipe I don’t think after this – or try the Cooks Illustrated that I linked. But these honestly are the softest and the chewiest, and just the best overall CCC recipe I’ve tried pretty much ever. And that oven of yours – gah! LMK how it’s going and what you decide on getting!

  11. It’s definitely that time of year – cookie baking season! These look awesome. I bet the cornstarch makes them extra chewy and delicious. I love the gooey chocolate oozing out of these in the photos! Drool-worthy!

  12. I saw you and Sally’s comment conversation about adding cornstarch to cookies and I have to say I am quite intrigued by the idea. I need to try it. These are studded with chocolate so I know I would love them!

  13. There is nothing better than fresh chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven. Those pictures with the melted chocolate chips=heaven!

  14. Looking at this post reminds me of cookie heaven your cookies look amazing!! I never would have thought about putting cornstarch in cookies I hope it wont alter the taste. I am loving the skillet cookie it looks so good..

  15. I’m literally mesmerized by these cookies!! They are Perfect…perfect height, perfect ratio of chocolate-to-dough, and they have that irresistible wrinkly-ness. :D

    I didn’t know that brown sugar helped to preserve a cookies softness! Thanks for the tip. Now I’m going to go daydream about chocolate chip cookies… (luckily I have cornstarch!). :)

    • Yes it does preserve softness in such a great way – which is why the Cooks Illustrated recipes always tend to stay softer, and this one too – compared to ones that have equal white and brown ratios.

      And I am glad I have you mesmerized :) Thanks for the pin!

  16. Wow! this is so yummy, Averie that I wanna eat get them in the monitor right now to it. I should try baking this cookies. Thanks for sharing.

  17. I just absolutely adore your photos. You are amazing– both chef and photographer. One day I will come close to your photos. I need a new camera first. Any suggestions for a first-time-wannabe food photographer?

    • It really depends on your budget. And you can spend thousands on gear but if you don’t food style, shoot with natural light, and aren’t prepared to edit the images in post processing to some extent, none of the gear matters. The most important thing you can do is to shoot with natural light and food style, make the food look as GORGEOUS on the plate and in the frame as possible. Then after you have that, THEN spend the money on a camera + lens…I talk about this in the posts I’ve linked here towards the bottom
      http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/photography

  18. Those look soooooo good! I absolutely LOVE chocolate chip cookies, and I will definitely be trying those.

  19. I want a chocolate chip cookie so bad right now after seeing this! I’m always on the hunt for the perfect recipe…this one looks like a winner!

  20. those look like my perfect cookie and i have neverheard of using cornstarch but i have heard of the pudding thing so that makes sense. I will be making these next time i need to bring a baked good somewhere over the christmas season!

  21. Your cookies always look SO good. You seriously need to have your own cookie line :)

  22. You had me at chocolate chips and chunks! I love everything about these cookies! :)

  23. These cookies look to die for. When the chocolate center is all soft and gooey then I know that it’s a recipe for me. I’m currently busy with Christmas cookie baking but the recipe will be pinned and the cookies baked right after the holidays!!

  24. I’ve never heard of cornstarch in a cookie! But these look amazing…those gooey chocolate chips!! Mmm!!

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